College is expensive enough! Students can save money by avoiding these four common mistakes.

MISTAKE 1. Using credit cards instead of cash or debit cards.

Students need to have spending limits. If a student no longer has funds available, he or she needs to stop spending, work some extra hours, have a chat with a parents or not complete a purchase. 

Credit cards give students an unrealistic concept of finances. With high interest rates that take advantage of students and the sense of financial immortality they convey, credit cards are a terrible idea for students.

MISTAKE 2. Not shelling out for a computer protection plan.

I see it all the time. Parents buy a barely average laptop on sale. A year later the computer breaks. Following service visits, paid support calls, expensive replacement parts and a second or third computer, parents just buy a proper laptop from the start. 

For students, a solid MacBook with a service plan is my first choice. Buy an Apple Certified refurbished model that will give you a discount with AppleCare. Many college book stores are already authorized service centers and Apple provides wide spread student discounts and incentives. 

If Macs are out of your budget, a solid Toshiba, HP or Lenovo Laptop with at least 16GB of RAM, a strong graphics cards, Intel processor or equivalent and a generous Solid State drive is the way to go... with a service plan. Skip the Chromebooks. 

MISTAKE 3. Relying on delivery and UberEats for meals. 

College meal plans can be great but students get tired of them quickly and reach for UberEats apps and delivery options that add up very quickly. If a student has no time to get to a grocery store or needs help cooking, for less than the cost of delivery (and much healthier), consider Blue Apron or Hello Fresh. 

For roughly $9 per portion with all ingredients and recipes in a box, although this is more expensive than going to a grocery store, a student will learn to cook, understand the value of food (and waste), and a grocery box service is on average 62 percent less expensive than food delivery over the course of a week. 

MISTAKE 4. Believing a car is necessary. 

It might be. For other students and parents, I urge you to add up the cost of car payments, insurance, any additional finance charges, repairs, gas and ticket over the course of a year. You will be stunned to see what you can save and for many students, the average savings are $6,000 per year.

If a student has three best friends at the same college, with families from the same region, not all three students need a car. Ride-sharing and other forms of transportation home are not always the most glamorous but these are students, and there are savings to be found!